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H. C. SAULS FROM APRIL 1923 - FEB. 1943

On or about April 1923, while residing at Pomona, California, I, H. C. Sauls, did conceive an idea for a collapsable kite for commercial advertising purposes. My conception was for a kite that would fly in low winds; adjust automatically to high winds; and to support large signs consisting of letters 10' in height attached to light weight fish netting. Preliminary sketches (just for the kite) were completed in April 1923, and the actual kite building began in May, 1923.

I completed three kites of the same design, in graduated sizes ranging from 3' to 9' wing span. The kites were of box type construction built of laminated bamboo and silk for fabricating. The kites were completed in September, and tested at Murock Dry Lakes, California, in October, 1923. Ten days testing proved extremely unsatisfactory and the actual kite building vas discontinued for research work. Cost approximately $800.00.

Upon completion of patent searches, I made personal contacts with kite inventors who had abandoned their search for a low wind kite because of the large size necessary for a low wind kite, and the expense of such kites. I continued with my research work which consisted of obtaining weather data over the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Hawaii, England, and France. The average wind velocities in these places were compiled along with all statistics on horse race courses, foot ball stadiums, fair grounds, bathing beaches, or any place where huge crowds gathered. Highway statistics throughout the United States was also recorded. I felt that this information would be invaluable should I perfect the advertising kite, and sell territorial rights for its use.

In May, 1924, at Miami Beach Florida, I began the construction of a modified Hargrave kite consisting of 2 cells forward and two cells aft. This kite was 36" 72" x 36", with no stabilization except the outer wing surfaces. Four months time was required to make tests and change the design and build three kites. All tests unsatisfactory.... Cost approximately $1500.00.

In February, 1926, at San Diego, California, another kite was built with 7 cells forward, with 8 stabilizers, and 2 cells aft, with one stabilizer in aft. The kite was of modified box type, with all 7 cells removable depending upon wind velocities. The kite was unstable and lacked lift sufficient to support signs for advertising. Several different sizes were built ranging from cells 10" X 10" to cells 36" X 36". Four years was needed for this unsatisfactory experiment. Cost approximately $8000.00

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In September, 1931, at Santa Monica, California, I built another kite with 3 cells forward; with two stabilizers in the leading wing, and two cells aft with one stabilizer aft. Length overall 9'. Wing span 10'. The kite was launched in a 7 mile wind velocity and rose very rapidly to an altitude of 2000 ft., turned completely over and nosed to earth and was destroyed in its first crash. The kite was redesigned and built with no stabilization except the outer fabric ends of wing and tail surfaces. This time the kite rose rapidly in a 15 mi. wind velocity to an altitude of 1000 ft. turned over and made a straight nose dive and was destroyed beyond repairs. I redesigned the kite again with 4 cells forward with central stabilizer in leading wing surface, and two cells aft without stabilizer in leading wing surface, and two cells aft without stabilizer in aft end. Three thousand feet of line was paid out down wind, and the kite released in a 25 mi. wind velocity. This time the kite rose rapidly to an elevation of about 2500 ft. and had a tendency to fly on an uneven keel. It was brought down and after adjusting the central stabilizer, and adding more depth to the central stabilizer to keep it on an even keel. It vas again launched in the same manner, and flew for about 6 hours without crashing or landing. The kite dimensions were changed again to 13'7" wing span, and 10' in length. Cost of experiment approximately $3,000.00

In February, 1932, at Santa Monica, California, I made drawing of this kite, and began to work out the proper fittings and refinements. In addition to the kite, I immediately began work on my advertising net and letters. Five years were required to perfect this kite and the method of suspending sign below flying line. This experiment cost approximately $5,000.00.

In 1938, I began my advertising business with a few small contract for operating off the beach at Santa Monica, California. I continued with my experimental and devoted full time to kite experimental work until 1940. In 1940 the kite design was sent to the National Inventors Council, Washington, D.C. Also to the British and Canadian Navy, with a suggestion for its adoption for aerial defense.

In 1941, I vas invited by the U. S. Signal Corps, Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, and the Special aircraft Lab. to demonstrate my kites in Dayton, Ohio. Promptly upon my arrival in Dayton, one of my kites was launched at Wright Field, and witnessed by officers who were favourably impressed. I was asked to build a test-groupe of kites for further tests. I built 6 duplicate kites of the model K1 design, and 4 of the model K2 design. Tests were conducted at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Camp Davis, North Carolina, in October, 1941. Officers suggested that an Air-foil kite be built to see if more lift could be obtained. One trip to D.C. and Philadelphia, Pa. (Franklyn Institute) was necessary in this undertaking. I returned to California to begin work on the airfoil kite, and on arrival I received a letter to work out another design for a radio transmitter.

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In February 1942 at West Los Angeles, California, I began work on a small collapsible kite with three cells forward and two stabilizers in the leading wing surface. The tail section had one cell. The kite was of a collapsable design with all longitudinal and cross members attached, and open like an umbrella. This little kite is now being tested by the Bendix Radio Corporation, for supporting radio antenna wire from floating rubber rafts. Promptly upon the completion of this small kite for Bendix, I began work on the airfoil design. Several experiments with plastics, laminated spruce, pine and aluminum, were conducted to determine the best suited for air-foil design. After several months experimenting, I finally began the construction of this kite. Spruce was used for the leading airfoil surface as well as the trailing surfaces. Hard balsa was used for the ribs. This kite is build in 4 sections, each section being 7' in length when folded. The design is the old biplane, with all hinges, locks, and fittings made of aluminum sheet and castings. Tests have not yet been completed with this airfoil kite.

In December, 1943, I was called back to Dayton, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. for testing kites aboard ship for the U.S. Maritime Commission. Several weeks were spent in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Md., in connectlon with these tests which were finally conducted on the Chesapeake Bay aboard U. S. S. Navigator.

From January 1938, to February 1943, all experimental work including all kite constructlon costs, travelling expenses, etc. was privately financed without any assistance from any Government. The approximate cost of 5 years work is approximately $10,000. All costs of kite experimental work since 1923 to 1943, would be approximately $28,000.00. Labor added for actual time for inventor: $20,000.00.
Total... $48,000.00.

A xerox of this unsigned document is in the Paul Garber Papers at the Smithsonian Institution

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